It’s the spellbinding aura of Taj Mahal that attracts thousands of travelers to Agra. Though the city has lot more to offer to the visitors other than the Taj. One can also visit the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Moti Masjid and other popular attractions while wandering through the historical lanes of this magnificent city. Agra was once the stronghold of the Mughal Empire and served as the capital under Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan’s reigns.
Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra is easily and conveniently connected to the major Indian cities via rail, road and air ways. Though the city is bustling with the tourist activities throughout the year, the best time to visit Agra is during the winters. Let’s explore more about Agra.
By Road: The road distance between Delhi and Agra is approx. 204 kms. You can either take the route via NH-2 or newly built Yamuna Expressway. It will take somewhere between 2.5-3.5 hours to reach Agra (depending on the traffic). Taxis and buses are easily available from Delhi and other connecting cities.
By Train: Agra is easily connected to major cities of the country via rail network. There are 3 railway stations in the city – Agra Cantt, Agra Fort and Raja ki Mandi. One can check the list of trains running between Agra and Delhi at https://www.indianrail.gov.in/.
By Air: If one wishes to save time, air route is the best way to reach Agra. The city’s only airport – Kheria airport is located around 7 kms from the city center.
The best time to visit Agra is between October to March. The temperature during this time is moderate and remains around 25° to 15° Celsius.
Taj Mahal – Agra is known as the city of the ‘Taj Mahal’. Counted among one of the seven wonders of the world, Taj attracts millions of travelers every year. This brilliant Mughal architectural wonder is one of the most visited monuments not only in India about also abroad. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, this white marble mausoleum took 22 years to finish.
Timings for Taj Mahal
Timings: Every Day (except Friday) - Sunrise to Sunset
On Full Moon Night - 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM
Day Fee: Rs 750 (Foreigners)
Rs 510 (Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries)
Rs 20 (Indian)
Free entry for children below 15 years of age
Night Fee: Rs 750 (Foreigners)
Rs 510 (Indians)
Rs 500 (Child 3-15 Years, Indian & Foreign)
Free entry for child below 3 years of age
Agra Fort – Built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1565, Agra Fort was primarily a military establishment. It was during the reign of Shah Jahan that this fort was transformed into a palace. Agra fort also served as a prison when Aurangzeb imprisoned Shah Jahan here.
Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula – Jehangir’s wife Nur Jahan built this tomb for his father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. He was given the title of Itmad-ud-Daula (meaning pillar of state) by Jehangir. Built between 1622-1628, this tomb is also known as the ‘Baby Taj’.
Fatehpur Sikri – Fatehpur Sikri served as the capital of the Mughal Empire till 16th century. The fort served the Mughal Empire for 15 years before being deserted due to the scarcity of water. Today it is known as a ghost town and attracts thousands of travelers from world over.
Akbar’s Tomb – It was in 1600 when Akbar himself initiated the work for his tomb. It was later in 1613 that the tomb was completed by Akbar’s son Jehangir. Akbar’s tomb is located in the city’s suburb Sikandra.
This pyramidal shaped tomb consists of five storeys and is open all 7 days.
Moti Masjid – Located inside the Red Fort, this magnificent masjid or mosque was built was by Shah Jahan in the year 1654. The mosque got its name Moti Masjid because of the white marble, giving it a pearly white look.